Helping a Globally Known Brand Carve Out a New Niche
Nidia Caceros Tatalovich
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
Disney Consumer Products
In 2002, Disney partnered with Carla and her team to help launch a new global initiative. Disney was entering the consumer electronics arena for the first time, with plans to bring to market a broad range of innovative products that combined a unique Disney design language with state-of-the-art technology. The functionality, size and comfort of each Disney product would be tailored to a child’s sensibility and world, beginning with two-way radios and 2.4GHz cordless telephone and extending to include a Karaoke Player, DVD/VCR players and even a PC, to name a few.
The communications challenge: emphasize the uniqueness of the Disney Electronics initiative while positioning it beyond “one-off” product coverage to showcase an innovative and comprehensive new product line. Also, convey that while designed for children, these products are beyond “toys” – they’re top-of-the-line devices that will deliver real quality and performance.
Carla and her team helped Disney define the story behind its new products, and worked with industry leaders such as Warren Buckleitner of Children’s Software Revue, James Oppenheim of Oppenheim Toy Portfolio and toy analyst Sean McGowan, among others, to establish Disney as the first innovators of a new trend in blending the imagination and wonder behind Disney’s kids’ products with quality, high-end technology.
The team garnered coverage for Disney’s new initiative in a wide variety of top-tier print and broadcast spanning consumer, business, technology, parenting, toy industry, travel and much more. Coverage included The Today Show, Better Homes & Gardens, Brandweek, BusinessWeek, Child, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, InStyle, Money Magazine, Newsweek, O Magazine, Parade, Scholastic Parents, Time, Wall Street Journal, Wired and The New York Times. The team also used its industry contacts to secure free inclusion in a back-to-school satellite media tour with toy and kid’s tech expert James Oppenheim, providing authoritative endorsement for Disney’s new initiative.
Thanks in part to such a successful PR campaign, Disney Consumer Products gained widespread popularity and the company continued to build out its product line in both the electronics and small appliance arena. As with other clients, Carla and her team played a key strategic planning role in the early stages before actual product launch – and principal Carla Sameth was even consulted along the way for ideas for future products.